Having engaged employees is something that an organization should always keep on its top priority. Employee engagement is definitely not rocket science, but the organisational culture and the attitude of the top management have to be aligned for the same. For nothing can be truer than having employees who are completely in sync with the organizational goals and objectives - they can change the fortune of a business entity.
Employee engagement is the emotional attachment or commitment an employee has for the company’s overall business goals. This means that the employee when he comes to the office every day is not only bothered about his salary, his promotion, perks and increments but is motivated to work to achieve the vision of his employer too. This means that they care for their organization as much as they care for their own good. An engaged employee will certainly have higher levels of performance, will be motivated to work and perform giving his best, will have high morale boost, takes ownership and accountability of jobs readily and most importantly stick by the organization at all cost – thereby enhancing the retention endeavours of the company.
Employee engagement, however, is a term that is often misconstrued to be employee satisfaction or happiness. While an employee can be happy that he is getting a fat paycheck at the end of the month, it does not necessarily mean that he is working in an engaging manner at the workplace. On the other hand, an employee may be highly motivated to work for the achievement of the organisational goals but maybe too stressed up and have a poor work-life balance and end up being unhappy. This shows that an organization should aim at not only having its employees engaged, it should also focus on keeping employees happy and satisfied and vice versa.
Engaging employees with the overall business goals and having them perform at their maximum potential are two sides of the same coin. But it does not essentially mean that engaged employees will perform at their 100% potential automatically and mechanically. Man is no machine and many organizations make the mistake of assuming that their staff and human resources will not need anything more than just being engaged with the organizational mission and vision statements. The truth is that employee engagement is a dynamic process and keeps evolving. It is a system that should be flexible and let to grow so that the performance levels of employees never get to suffer.
The secret to having engaged employees is to indulge them in regular team building activities. The outcome of these activities, whether held as a part of an annual corporate offsite meet or as a quarterly training program, is to let the employees know their value to the organisation that they work for. Corporates pamper and completely indulge their employees so that they return back to their desks and work with renewed enthusiasm and vigour to work harder and smarter.
The objective of this team activity is precise and clear. It is about managing time, resources, staying focussed on the goals and develop critical problem-solving skills. And above all, collaborate and work together as a coordinated unit to achieve objectives. This is a regular treasure hunt game but with a twist in the plot. Held as a competitive challenge, participants need to start the hunt based on clues and riddles that they need to solve at each step. However, as teams complete one task, they are handed over additional clues, codes and anagrams that they need to break and resolve to help them reach the end goal in a better and faster way. There are points that the teams get – so depending on the number of clues resolved, teams score more or lesser points. Finally, the picture that each team makes is collated together to make a masterpiece art.
An innovative and interesting team building activity that can really spike up the energy levels of the crowd is the Drum Jam Session. Each participant in this activity is handed over a Djembe Drum, a traditional instrument used by tribes in West Africa. The unicity is that the drum needs to be beaten by the bare hands so that a sound or music is generated from the instrument. When the drums are given to the participants it is but obvious that the sound generated by each would be unsynchronized and random and would appear to be very unmusical to the ears. But lead by a band or recorded music, each team member starts to get serious and follow the pattern to beat their respective drums in sync with the band. The result is astonishing – by the end of the event, most people are in sync and their enthusiasm levels are at the highest for music and passion go hand-in-hand. This is a perfect activity to instil the essence of coordinated teamwork.
This activity drives home the faith and belief that when organisations work to empower their employees and help them learn new skills, they will surely have higher levels of employee engagement. Beatboxing is an art in which the beatboxer makes rhythmic sound using his mouth. In this challenge, participants, who have zero knowledge of beatboxing are taught a few beatbox rhythms by trained beatboxers. The training takes some time and happens in small groups. So, each group gets to learn a few selected beatbox rhythms. In the end, all the groups come together and play their sounds in sync with that of the others to create some pleasing symphony of beatbox sounds. While this game is a great stress buster and ice breaker, it also encourages participants and employees to step out of their comfort zones and pre-decided roles to take up something completely different and opposed to their conventional roles. This kind of gives a kick to the employees’ morale and in turn helps him engage better with his organization.